Our Twenty Third Year - A Season of Giving.

Scotland Memories

Thursday, August 10, 2006 - written by Kelly Hartford

Today is the day we checked out of the Glasgow International Holiday Inn and left for the highlands. Our first stop was Loch Lomond, where we are to take a cruise. As we arrived at the Loch the song…"Oh, ye'll take the high road and I'll take the low road and I'll be in Scotland afore ye, for me and my true love will never meet again, on the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond"…a song my Scottish great-grandmother would sing to me as a child.

We arrived and soon boarded the cruise, heading for the other side of the Loch. The day was cool and the sky was partly cloudy, intermittently blue and gray. The water was dark blue, almost black. In looking at the coastline, the grass was various shades of green and purple. Boats and a few homes dot the landscape, as we take our jaunt across.

The cruise guide tells us of the gamekeeper who lives in a small cottage without electricity, and other amenities, and directs our attention to his place. There are also little islands that protude from the loch, one called Honeymooners Island, in which honeymooners are placed on the island for a short time.

After 45 minutes, we reached the other side and again departed for the north. At one point, we stopped at Argyll Bowling in order to take a "Kodak moment" and then again boarded the bus and headed north. All along the way, sheet dotted the landscape, which became more steep and more rugged as we continued northward. We passed another loch - Loch Fyne, another beautiful scene.

We finally reached our next destination, Inverary Castle, which was quite lovely. Many photos were taken of the site and we had our first impromptu performance in the Armory Room of the castle. We sang "Go ye now in peace." followed by an encore of "Nelly Bly." We continued our self-guided tour, and then had lunch in the tea room in the castle basement. At one point, the security alarm went off, which caused a little delay.

We again departed, heading for the hills - Spean Bridge - and continued to see many "Munros" and valleys, many picturesque scenes. We then stopped at Loch Anne and Glencoe for a quick break before heading out again. We went through Fort William and finally reached our destination.

Our tour guide, Christopher, entered the hotel first, to let them know we had arrived. We each paired up with our roommate and got our luggage. We got our key for the room, tool our luggage to our rooms. We then had dinner, which consisted of either soup or salad first, followed by the entrée of fish, penne, or other dish. After dinner, many people retired for the evening, returning to their rooms. I chose to retire and get some sleep, as tomorrow looked to be a busy day.

As I lay waiting for sleep to come, I am once again reminded of my great-grandmother, who was born and raised in this country, who spoke of the sites and sounds of this lovely country to me as a child, and one that I have ever only dreamed of seeing.

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